Author Topic: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary  (Read 2527 times)

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wilder

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Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« on: May 20, 2014, 03:16:48 PM »
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Between 1970 and 1979, Hal Ashby's films collected seven Academy Awards and 24 Academy Award nominations. They continue to influence generations of directors, actors, and fans. Any time you mention Shampoo, Being There, or Coming Home, the reaction is without fail, impassioned. “That film changed my life!”  You hear it over and over again, yet Ashby’s name remains, criminally unknown to the general public, a footnote in film guides and critical studies.

This mind-blowing streak of films easily rivals his more famous contemporaries. His strident rebelliousness in the face of the Hollywood studio system set the course for an unapologetically original body of work. He was a major player in the 1970s Hollywood’s Film Renaissance: its moral ambivalence and political rage, its stylistic audacity and deeply human voice. That he disappeared behind a string of disappointing pictures in the 1980s and died before redeeming his reputation has led many critics to dismiss Ashby. This was a man who gave everything to film, sacrificed his personal relationships, his health, and sometimes his sanity in his devotion to the craft of directing. In making ONCE I WAS we will finally explore the profound impact of Hal Ashby’s body of work on modern cinema, and hope to know the man behind the camera.


Directed by Amy Scott
Release Date - September 7, 2018

Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Trailer

Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - IndieGogo Campaign
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 08:15:13 AM by wilder »

wilder

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2017, 12:02:25 AM »
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wilder

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 06:41:13 PM »
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Renamed 'Hal'. Premiering at Sundance.


wilder

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2018, 09:12:37 AM »
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September 7th


wilberfan

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2018, 08:45:03 PM »
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Man, thanks for the heads-up on this.  I grew up with his films.  Awesome talent.
"Trying to fit in since 2017."

Something Spanish

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 10:34:33 AM »
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I first heard of Hal Ashby in early 2001, reading what was, at the time, one of the most fascinating books I've ever  laid eyes on, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls", thinking this dude is one of the most interesting characters in this Hollywood tale - - making movies and holing up in an editing bay floating on clouds of pot smoke. At the time I had seen zero films by Ashby, since then that number has only increased to four, although I own three of his best ones so all that needs to be done is inserting those discs into a BR-player and that number moves up to seven. Add to that the forthcoming release of The Landlord on BR and I'll have seen just about all his work, at least the ones that count. The seminal 70's movies. One thing the new documentary about the man sheds light on that I wasn't clear on was the reason why he was so  highly lauded in the Hollywood community, by people like Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Towne. Norman Jewison has a very special place in his heart for Hal. Amy Scott's doc, "Hal", makes it clear - - this man was a pure soldier of cinema. Ashby lived for making movies, especially movies that said something, had a heart and exposed prejudice, hypocrisy, societal inequalities. A hippie filmmaker whose movies were actually good, not some spacey drugged out faux notion of peace and love. Amy Scott did a good job bringing us close to the man, especially considering the dearth of material she had to draw on. There aren't many available interviews with her subject,  especially on video, so the doc mainly relies on testimonials from collaborators, although we're graced with letters (narrated by Ben Forester) and some audio recordings of the man himself. His short-lived 80's life isn't afforded much time, understandable for a doc that runs under 90min, but would have been interesting to know more about the cause of his blunders after striking a streak successes (in quality at least) like few filmmakers ever have. Otherwise, this thing is a real pleasure, emitting super chills in the montage moments of all his films. Dude did some fine work. Assumedly that's why there is so little information about his personal life...he had no personal life. His parents divorced at 6, his dad killed himself at 12, he had a daughter at 17, then he split to California and the rest is history. We get brief words for his daughter and a an ex-girlfriend or two, but that's the extent of the personal stuff. Hal Ashby breathed for cinema, lived for cinema.

Clearly now I am itching to watch his movies, the three just standing there on my bookshelf (Being There, Harold & Maude, Coming Home), taunting me to play them. That will probably go down this weekend. Would also like to revisit the ones I've previously seen.  Check this doc out whenever you can, if you love movies that is, which you do, because you are on Xixax.

modage

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2018, 12:21:17 PM »
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I wanna see this doc, is it streaming yet anywhere?

(Easy Riders Raging Bulls is still my favorite book ever about film.)
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Something Spanish

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2018, 02:05:58 PM »
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not yet, think it just finished its theatrical run. saw in a 300-seat theater with only two other person in attendance.

Just Withnail

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2018, 05:37:36 PM »
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You have a ridiculously great cinematic few hours ahead of you seeing those three for the first time.

wilberfan

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Re: Once I Was: The Hal Ashby Story - Documentary
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2018, 08:42:04 PM »
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I first heard of Hal Ashby in early 2001, reading what was, at the time, one of the most fascinating books I've ever  laid eyes on, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls", thinking this dude is one of the most interesting characters in this Hollywood tale


Since I'm The Old Dude around here (who came of cinematic age in the '70s), I can tell you that seeing his films first-run back in the day was always such a moving, profound experience.  Underrated--or at least too forgotten in the time since.  I'm really looking forward to this doc as well.   


And I love that book, too...   Might be time for a re-read. 
"Trying to fit in since 2017."

 

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